coronavirus

OSKALOOSA — There was another 601 cases of the coronavirus and another 46 deaths reported in state data Monday.

None of the new deaths reported were in Marion or Mahaska Counties. There were six new cases reported in Mahaska and five reported in Marion.

Deaths reported by the state are often delayed by days and weeks as officials confirm cause of death before adding them to the data set. The deaths reported Monday were from between Nov. 24 and Dec. 16.

The state reports 3,946 COVID-19 deaths to date, and more than 90% of those who have died had a pre-existing condition. These comorbidities can include a variety of things, including common diseases and ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

There were 571 hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iowa, with 117 in an intensive care unit. Both numbers are down slightly from Sunday.

On Saturday, state data reported three new local deaths — two from Marion County and one from Mahaska County. That raised the pandemic’s death toll to 49 in Marion and 35 in Mahaska.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. It is often mild and some individuals remain asymptomatic or have only cold or flu symptoms. But the disease can be more severe, require hospitalization and lead to death, particularly in older or immunocompromised people.

Experts, including those at the CDC, say wearing masks when in public, keeping at least 6 feet of distance between people when possible, and good hygiene can prevent the spread.

The Oskaloosa Herald relies on data reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health, using its coronavirus data dashboard at coronavirus.iowa.gov. Data is checked each day at 10 a.m. and then compared to the data previously captured from the dashboard to produce stories.

The state has changed how it reported the data several times, and local officials often produce data based on different standards or in different timeframes. Therefore, the data will not always align with other sources.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Oskaloosa Herald and the Ottumwa Courier. He can be reached at kocker@oskyherald.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Group Editor

Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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